Several weeks ago I was approached to speak at an event organized by Deb Hileman, President and CEO, Institute for Crisis Management (ICM) and sponsored by Business Wire: Issues Management and Crisis Communication, as a guest speaker and panelist on the topic around risk management for Public Relations (PR) firms.

This opportunity made me think of many current issues that we are hearing about in public affairs, sports, and the corporate arena as I was preparing for my relevant and value-driven presentation. Regardless of what industry you are part of or whom you are representing, it is essential to have a highly competent PR department and dedicated team. If you are utilizing one of the best PR firms in the industry, such as Edeman or Weber Shandwick the more time invested in advance with your dedicated team to respond timely to the crises at hand, will make a significant difference in your overall crisis management and its outcome.

Four key areas that are consistently most pressing to focus on across industries are as follows:

1. Crisis Prevention – and/or Crisis Planning this is an excellent opportunity to start thinking ahead with the planning process that includes the best strategies based on the identified and/or predicted risks for the organization or individual. Knowing what and why something may need protecting to preserve your or your company’s reputation and brand against all foreseeable threats would be impossible without the plan and threats analyses, right?

2. Crisis Preparedness – or better yet, Crisis Readiness, is equally important, in my opinion, as crisis prevention and planning. Why? Regardless of whether you are a major corporation with a large PR budget or a high profile individual, it will make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any unexpected crisis if you are thinking and planning three to four steps ahead. Due to social media and viral communication, it is essential to focus not only on risk assessments and crisis communication best strategy development and plan but also crisis and media management training and simulations.

3. Crisis Response – or even better, Lack of Response, when miscalculated or an unexpected PR crisis occurs and springs up; the repercussions can be abrupt and unforgiving. At that time, strategic and tactical thinking with clear and concise communication is a must. Having an immediate 24/7/365 rapid-response crisis management team at hand with comprehensive response training and message development including social media/online monitoring and management can save the day as well as your organization and/or individual reputation.

4. Post-Crises Recovery – or “Post Survival”, may be a long process to truly and fully understand the post-crisis and stakeholder impact, needed change management efforts while focusing on rebuilding trust, reputation, restoration and overall relationships within your organization and/or your personal brand.

“Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

In conclusion, honing in on crisis communication in order to minimize management issues can make a significantly positive impact to the reputation of your organization, especially after the post-crisis recovery. Investing in your organization’s reputation management in the very beginning, as a manageable strategic asset will increase the risk tolerance of your organization.

Lastly, if you are consistently leading with integrity and strong ethical standards, coupled with exceptional leadership while acting in the best interest of the customer, you and your organization already have a foundation that will be able to get you through the possible high risks and crisis. It pays off to walk your talk at all times.

Massive success to you on your journey as a transformational leader!

Leave a Legacy – A Legacy That Matters!

Be a Legend –  Your Legendary Way!

Learn… Lead… Love…  Izabela Lundberg  (@IzabelaLundberg) is CEO and Founder of Izabela Lundberg International. She is an Executive  Consultant, Trainer & Speaker for Fortune 500 and  Professional Athletes & Coaches. She is #1 International Best Selling Author & Leading Authority of Leadership Transformation From Fear to Greatness. Drawing on her extensive global business management, diversity, and high-performance impact expertise through her work with people from over 80 countries, Izabela also writes and speaks on topics such us  Strategic Leadership & InfluenceLegacy Leadership, & #HighPerformance #Impact.